Warframe on PS4 Developer Q&A

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Warframe on PS4 Developer Q&A

When you read the word “ninja,” what comes to mind? Exotic weaponry? Stealth and cunning? How about space-faring exo-armor and earth-shaking spells? These images all fit perfectly into Warframe, a fast-paced, third-person action game launching with PS4 on November 15th.

We wanted to know more about this free-to-play, multiplayer suite, so we sent some questions over to Digital Extremes to get a better grasp on the world of Warframe. Associate Producer Pat Kudirka took time out of his busy schedule to answer our inquiries, which we’ve listed below for your reading pleasure.

PlayStation.Blog: How would you describe Warframe to a newcomer in a single sentence?

Pat Kudirka: Space ninjas.

PSB: How has the team responded to working with PS4? What sort of opportunities, and challenges, come with the new platform?

Kudirka: Warframe is an original, self-published title from Digital Extremes. On previous titles we’ve always had a publisher, which was required to ship titles in the console market. This next generation of consoles, specifically PS4, allows independent developers like us to self-publish, without the traditional overhead costs that publishers usually shoulder when a game has to go on the shelf of a retail store.

It’s empowering and challenging at the same time. By bringing Warframe to PS4, we get to tap into the console market and share our awesome space ninja experience with players who prefer console gaming over PC gaming. The transition to the console has been fairly smooth thus far, much to the delight of our programming team. As with most new consoles and hardware, the challenge is always having the right information and proper tools to work with. Sony has done a great job providing these tools to the development community, and continues to support us leading up to launch.

PSB: Does Warframe use any of the DualShock 4’s technologies (touch pad, motion controls, light bar, speaker) that weren’t available with other control methods?

Kudirka: The DualShock 4 is a natural fit with Warframe’s fast-paced, third-person action. Upon entering a mission, the mysterious Lotus will brief you and your fellow Tenno through the speaker on the DualShock 4 controller, and update you as the mission goes on.

If your Warframe takes shield damage, the light bar will flicker blue and green and — once depleted — a red flicker of the light bar will indicate that your Warframe is losing health, so you better call for back-up from your co-op partners.

On top of that, each of the Warframe’s unique powers are mapped to the DualShock 4’s touch pad. If the player has enough energy available, a simple up, down, left, or right gesture on the touch pad will cast the Warframe’s special powers. This actually has been received quite well when focus testing, but there’s definitely more work to do on our end to ensure the feature is flawless.

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PSB: Warframe combines a number of different art styles, cultures, and gaming conventions. How did this otherworldly fusion come about, and how does Digital Extremes find a harmony between them? How many ninja movies were viewed as reference material?

Kudirka: Traditional ninja mythology is already cool and interesting, but we needed to push that into the sci-fi realm and kind of forge our own kind of “Canadian manga,” for lack of a better term. We draw influence from anime, Arthurian legend, mythology, and you can probably see some evidence of mech fantasy, Power Rangers, and the whole cyber-ninja trope.

The gameplay follows the artistic influence by sticking to ninja themes of assassination, sabotage, and intrusion, while building an arsenal fit for space ninja commandos, including throwing stars, hunting bows, and all manner of firearms.

PSB: How long does it take, currently, to “max out” a single Warframe? What sort of play time has the team observed from its beta testers? How has the gaming community responded as a whole?

Kudirka: For the average free player, you’re looking at about 10 hours of play to max out your selected Warframe. All items in game, whether it be your Warframe, Sentinel, primary, secondary, or melee weapon, all gain XP individually and have specific Mods that can be applied to each. Depending on the player’s individual goals, the game experience isn’t over once you’ve maxed out your Warframe; there’s plenty more to build upon as we continuously add new weapons and Mods for customization.

We have players that have hundreds of hours logged, so we needed an upgrade/mod system that is very robust, hence why we changed our upgrade system to the current Mod System. We have a growing list of Mods that can be mixed and matched to modify weapons to whatever the player desires. The community was hesitant at first, but the Mod System is now very popular.

PSB: Given that the game is highly focused on cooperative play, what are some co-op behaviors and mechanics that separate Warframe from the pack?

Kudirka: Warframe strives on making the best co-operative experience for our players across the globe, and we believe this is what separates us from the rest. We’re always creating mission types, weekend events, and Warframes with co-op in mind.

Our Warframes have a lot of offensive powers, but we’re always focusing on powers that will complement our cooperative play as well. One example is our anti-matter Warframe, Nova, who was actually designed by our amazing community. Nova’s Worm Hole power allows her to shift the matter around her, creating a portal entrance and exit at a target location. Use this to teleport your co-op partners to places they generally couldn’t reach, providing tactical advantages in game modes like Defense. We have Warframes that can heal and provide energy to the team, teleport players in trouble, and much, much more. Co-op is a huge focus in Warframe, and will continue to be as we design more game modes and Warframes.

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PSB: How does Digital Extremes balance free-to-play content with premium, paid-for content?

Kudirka: It’s been a challenge navigating this balance, and the interesting thing is that it was our paying players and founders that shaped the way we handled free versus paid-for. They were willing to pay and support our team at Digital Extremes, but didn’t want a pay wall separating them from players that chose not to pay.

Players can collect blueprints and materials in game, take them to the foundry, and build new Warframes, weapons, and beyond. Every single item in game can be crafted this way, so nothing is behind a pay wall. If you’re a player with lots of time on his/her hands to play Warframe, you can collect all of the necessary materials to build up your arsenal. If you’re a weekend warrior and can’t invest as much time into Warframe, you can simply purchase items via micro transactions. This truly makes us a free to play title.

PSB: What’s next for Warframe? Does the team plan to launch more Warframes, weapons, and mods with future updates?

Kudirka: Warframe is constantly updating on a weekly basis. Every 1-2 weeks we add new weapons and host weekend events. With our larger updates every 6-8 weeks, we introduce new Warframes, enemy types, boss battles, art sets, narrative, game modes, and more. We’re always expanding Warframe so that our loyal community and fans have fresh content, and hope that this attracts new users to Warframe as well.

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5 Author Replies

  • u had me at power rangers as a reference, just hopefuly theres warframes that actually look similar to one cause if so uve got me hooked on this game day i get my ps4 n this game

  • Can’t wait for this game on PS4. Tried it out on PC and had a lot of fun.

  • I think it a great idea to ship a F2P game as a launch game for a console. I think a lot of people picking up a PS4 will try this game because it looks great and it’s free. I hope the PSN store makes it easy for new users to find free games though.

    My only question is, how do trophies work for this game (or any F2P game on PS4)? I know you need to pay to unlock trophies in DCUO, hopefully, this is not the case for Warframe.

  • Looks really good and better yet, it’s free !

    Thanks for posting Ryan.

    Can’t wait until Nov 15/13 !

  • Looks great, and people that isn’t plus can play it too.

  • @ #5 – PS4 online has to be psn+ remember :(

  • Looks really good. I love that it is a third-person and not first-person. Is there some kind of story in the game, or is it just an multiplayer game with no story?


  • @ mrowie: Actually, F2P titles like Warframe and Blacklight have the option to require PS+ or not. As putting it behind a paywall (PS+) could potentially reduce the number of players who will try the game, from what I’ve heard most of the confirmed F2P PC titles coming to PS4 will not require PS+ in order to play them online.


    Looking forward to checking this out on PS4. As soon as I saw it was third-person action, I gave up any hope of trying it out on PC. For me, this style of game is not meant for kb/m, so getting to play it natively with a controller on a console is definitely the way to go, imo.

  • any word-update-tease-prediction for Ni No Kuni on PS Vita any time soon this year?

  • will there be discounts on the buyable stuff for psn+ members?

  • wow ryan you respond more than morgan and kristine toguether ps+US sucks really all hate hte differences of ps+EU whit PS+US because EU have better discounts and better games and we need to wait each week to see what game give to us but in EU they have all the games in the same day and they know what game the go to have 1 week early.

  • Game looks really nice!

  • third person Space Ninja shooter? Im in! :)

  • This game is looking really good…of all the F2P and online only games offered its the only game that is looking worth to play.I’m eager to try it out but I wont be getting a PS4 so…anyway this looks good.

  • Playing Warframe made me sad my PC is so old. Can you ask Pat Kudirka if they have any plans on designing a warframe that teleports a PS4 into my house and how long it would take to unlock that ability mod? Thanks.

  • Nice to know it’s a launch title.

  • Want. Want right now. Also good to see you guys fully support a platform that embraced this market because of creativity and originality, not because of a consumer backlash.

  • hope to see u there ryan! buying ps4 day one! Hey ryan can i ask 2 things?

    mind to add me on psn? i know u must be full by now but since the ps4 will have almost unlimited i would like to play with u :)

    the last question is… isnt the 500$ ps4 KZ bundle coming to america? i reaaaaally want that bundle and i was going to buy it online but its in pounds and the cost will be 630 american bucks approximately…. so i cant… can u pls pass this to superiors? Thanks

  • I love this game on the PC and plan to play it on the PS4 so my question is if we already have an account and some awesome frames will I be able to bring my account over to the PS4. Hell I also would like to know if we can do some cross platform play with PC and PS4, that would be awesome!

  • Can’t wait for the game. It seems interesting (the basic concept of the game that is). The F2P makes it even better. The co-op is a great feature. It…this game…it…just…WOW!

  • Man this is going to be the first F2P game i download on PS4 and probably invest on its just pure fun

  • I’m looking forward to trying out this game on PS4.

    I’ve already played a little bit of this game on PC. I liked my starter ranged and melee weapons. Also, the maps looked pretty good & there were plenty of tough AI enemies to fight.

    The only thing that I didn’t like is that it takes a large amount of time until you unlock.any powers for your Warframe.

    That’s why I find it very hard to believe Kudirka’s statement that the average player can max out a Warframe in only 10 hours. In my experience, it will take much more time.

  • Looks pretty fun, might have to download this one. Atleast its not like all the 54678224 shooter games people are trying to make. I really hope people continue to stray away from the FPS genre. They are WAY over hyped & quite frankly, none of them are good. Its just a bunch of kids yelling in microphones usually & the actual story part are super short so your only left with that. I look forward to trying this game though.

  • After watching this i don’t get to involved in f2p games, but this is one that will make me change my mind for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’ve played this game on my laptop, the audio and visuals are just amazing just from the low setting. I’ve had to play this with a very low laptop though so I’m going to be blown away if you guys are capable of getting it to near maxed out settings. I’m sure you will though.

  • Wait… Ryan Clements? THE Ryan Clements as in former IGN Editor Ryan Clements? Didn’t know you went to work for Sony. THAT’S AWESOME! I had the sort of feeling that you would interview something like this at first word “Ninja”. Man, IGN ain’t the same without you, dude! No Chris Roper, no Ryan Clements, and no Jeff Haynes. Nah, this can’t be that Ryan Clements. Oh well.

  • AS I LIVE AND BREATHE! IT IS THAT RYAN CLEMENTS! Good to hear from ya, man! Interesting they gave youself, Roper, and Haynes the boot and kept Colin and Greg. What!?!? Ah well, you’re in good company and Sony’s in good hands. Good deal! You’ve finally made it into the Beyond.

  • Been playing this on PC since the closed beta. Love this game, can’t wait to play this on PS4. I hope we can use our characters from our PC accounts because I would hate to level everything all over again. If not, that’s fine. ^_^

  • I have a question about one of the features you mentioned, and it’s a feature other devs are using in a similar way but it’s got me completely confused because it makes no sense to me in a way. Maybe you or someone else here would be so kind as to set me straight….tell me what I’m missing.

    It’s the light bar, and how you guys and Guerilla are having it light up red or some other color when you’re being attacked or whatever. Well, what is the point of that? Maybe I’m seeing the shape of the controller wrong, but from what I’ve seen, the player doesn’t even see the light bar while holding the controller. It makes sene if we actually have line of sight to the light to see in our periphery.

    I thought that lightbar was genius for built in Move-like functionality, which is far more accurate than Wii type tracking or gaming quality gyroscopes. But using it as a visual feedback device for gamers doesn’t make much sense if the gamer can’t actually SEE it.

  • This looks pretty neat… and plays pretty well, too! I really hope to see some variety in the gameplay, but I had some fun with this at PAX Prime this year! I may have to download this to my tower as I have downloaded PlanetSide 2 in preparation for PS4 F2P games! (Oh, and don’t forget about War Thunder!)

  • @29: I think you’re forgetting that light… illuminates. If the lightbar is even half as bright as the PS Move ball is, then we’ll definitely see it glowing back there. (may annoy some people actually… which is the only concern I have about it)

  • Looks so good I know I’m going to love this game.

  • Already have my frame …Just waiting for the day it comes to PS4. I just find the console easier to connect with certain friends. This should be epic …!

  • I like how they mention “without the traditional overhead costs that publishers usually shoulder when a game has to go on the shelf of a retail store.”

    Why then does games on the PSN cost the same when they first come out as retail?

    Also I would like to say all digital but keep finding that older not second had retail games to be cheaper than there digital counterpart.

    I wish Sony would price match or have a retailer like Best Buy sell digital codes and price match as they have a good Price Match Guarantee where you can call in or go to the store and match to all major brick and mortar or online competitors.

    That or sony should have some type of mail in program to trade the retail game for the digital one.
    Maybe partner with Gamestop and instead of store credit you could trade for the digital game.

    I really hope Sony does something to keep us all digital.

  • By the way… I’m super happy to have you here Ryan! Loved you on IGN! You were (and still is) one of my favorite editors! Super love for you and good luck with the new job, man!

  • Can’t wait to play this game with a controller! I’m not a mouse and KB person for fast paced actions games like this. I have played the beta on PC and I do highly enjoy the game. I do hope that I can buy money day 1 on the PSN for this game.

    Also will there be cross platform support to be able to play with PC players on the PS4?

  • Any word yet on whether Trophies will be locked behind any sort of paywall? That is my only concern as it relates to the F2P model slowly infiltrating the PlayStation Network.

  • been itching for a Dark Sector 2 for awhile now!

    finally it’s here!

  • I was so ready to get this game when i saw the preview for it on the PSN. Then i looked up more about it and found its online co-op only :( so disappointing. If it had 4 player couch co-op I would have already ordered it. Maybe one day there will be a game like this and do 4 player couch co-op. At least 2 player anyways.

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